Adderall and Modafinil as Treatment for ADHD Symptoms

Selecting the right ADHD or narcolepsy medication can be challenging since many options are available. Finding what is best for you is key to successful treatment.

Modafinil and Adderall are two medications commonly used to treat ADHD and narcolepsy. However, each drug acts differently and may have different effects. Understanding the differences between the two drugs is the first step in determining which one might be best for you.

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Adults and school-aged children are affected by ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Restlessness, difficulty paying attention, and hyperactivity are some of the symptoms. Although the causes of ADHD are unknown, symptoms may be influenced by factors such as food, environment, and heredity (via American Family Physician). At least 30% of adults diagnosed with ADHD as children are now estimated to have the disorder throughout adulthood (Psychiatry Res).

Psychosocial therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT), and behavioral therapy treat ADHD in conjunction with prescription medications.

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In this post, we’ll compare and contrast two specific medications: Modafinil and Adderall, so you and your doctor can decide which is the best treatment option for you.

 

What are the primary differences between Modafinil and Adderall?

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Both Modafinil and Adderall act as central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, influencing neurotransmitters in the brain. They can improve alertness or attention and maintain an overall sense of awareness. Because the inability to focus and difficulty sleeping are two of the many symptoms of ADHD, these medications can help a person manage their symptoms of the disorder.

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Modafinil and Adderall are stimulants, although Adderall includes amphetamines, whereas Modafinil does not. These medications also target different neurotransmitters, with Modafinil targeting dopamine and Adderall targeting serotonin and norepinephrine.

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Modafinil is classed as a Schedule IV restricted substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) due to its lack of amphetamines. This makes it less addictive than Adderall, a Schedule II drug, but both should still be used safely. Adderall is a habit-forming stimulant with a high potential for misuse; as a result, it should be administered with caution in patients with a history of drug abuse.

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Modafinil vs Adderall

Drug Class

Schedule IV, psychostimulant

Schedule II CNS stimulant

Brand/generic availability

Both available

Both available

How long is the treatment

Long-term

Long-term

Age for usage

18 years plus

Three years of age into adulthood

Standard dosage

200 mg once a day

5mg once or twice daily up to 60 mg/day

Extended-release available?

No

Yes

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Conditions treated by Modafinil and Adderall

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Modafinil and Adderall to treat narcolepsy, although each drug also has other indications. Adderall is most recommended for the treatment of ADHD. Modafinil has been used off-label to treat ADHD. Off-label usage is the use of a medicine for a purpose not permitted by the FDA. The FDA also licensed Modafinil to treat various sleep-related issues, including shift work disorder, sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and extreme tiredness caused by other medical illnesses. Sleepiness is a symptom of ADHD, so Modafinil can be a solid treatment choice for adult patients. Modafinil is not approved for any medical condition in children.

Is Modafinil or Adderall more effective for ADHD treatment?

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Let’s have a look at the evidence. A few research studies on the effectiveness of Modafinil and Adderall in treating ADHD symptoms are included below. Both medications are effective in treating ADHD symptoms. However, due to chemical characteristics and the lack of amphetamines, studies have shown that If addiction is an issue, Modafinil may be a better alternative.

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 The American Academy of Sleep Medicine considers Modafinil and Adderall to be effective treatments for excessive drowsiness. Both drugs have the potential for habit formation, but Adderall has a greater rate due to its narcotic characteristics. Modafinil does promote wakefulness.
 Modafinil has been demonstrated to be an effective medication for treating the symptoms of ADHD when titrated correctly. It was well tolerated, with just minor to moderate side effects.
 In a 2nd randomized study, the wakefulness-promoting drug Modafinil has been more effective than a placebo in treating ADHD in adults.
 A third recent study also concluded that Modafinil effectively treats attention disturbance.

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So, how does Modafinil compare to Adderall specifically for the treatment of ADHD?

According to the findings of a clinical experiment, Modafinil could be a viable alternative to Adderall-like stimulant drugs.

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Drug interactions in Modafinil and Adderall

Adderall should not be taken with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) like selegiline or linezolid. MAO inhibitors impede amphetamine metabolism, increasing the amphetamine’s effect on releasing norepinephrine and other monoamines, resulting in headaches and other hypertensive crisis symptoms. While it is unknown whether Modafinil has the same impact when used with MAOIs, it should be avoided.

Serotonergic medications used in conjunction with Adderall may raise the risk of serotonin syndrome. This syndrome might cause the patient to feel anxious, dizzy, and have an elevated heart rate. Common antidepressants with serotonergic activity, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) and selective norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), should be used with caution when combined with Adderall.

Modafinil has similar drug interactions as Adderall. To ensure safety, examine your current medications with your doctor or pharmacist, just as you would with any new prescription. Because Modafinil can reduce the effectiveness of birth control, you should take proper precautions to prevent pregnancy for the month after you stop using it.

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Warnings for Modafinil and Adderall use

 

Modafinil and Adderall have been linked to increased cardiac events such as chest discomfort and palpitations. Adderall has been related to an increase in strokes and heart attacks. These may be more common in persons who have pre-existing heart problems. Prescribers should test for these illnesses and exercise extreme caution when administering these medications to individuals with cardiac problems.

Modafinil and Adderall have been associated with mild blood pressure and heart rate elevations. When patients use stimulants, these indicators should be examined.

Modafinil and Adderall can worsen behavioral abnormalities in people with pre-existing psychiatric problems. If stimulants are required, these patients should be properly watched. Patients who have a severe psychiatric history may be at a higher risk.

Adderall use in children and adolescents has been associated with growth suppression. Patients with delayed growth while on stimulants may be advised to discontinue the medication temporarily. Healthcare experts frequently recommend pausing therapy when children are not in school, such as on weekends, holidays, and summer vacations.

You should not take Modafinil, Adderall, or similar medicines if you have had allergic reactions to them.


Potential for a
buse

Adderall is significantly more likely than Modafinil to be abused by the population. Adderall is the most commonly abused prescription stimulant, particularly among college students. There are various reasons why people are more likely to use Adderall without a prescription or in ways that their doctor does not suggest. To begin with:

 Adderall is readily available.
 People can quickly receive it from acquaintances who have a prescription.
 Because it is so often prescribed, Adderall is illegally sold on the street.
 People overuse Adderall because it gives them a surge of euphoria when they take a hefty amount.

On the other hand, Modafinil is more difficult to obtain unless you have a valid prescription for the medication due to its scarcity. Another reason Modafinil is less likely to be abused is because its effects are milder. Because Modafinil causes alertness, some people may use it to stay awake. The substance is not often abused as a study or work aid because it does not improve focus or cognition.

Modafinil has euphoric qualities, but it does not flood the brain with neurotransmitters as Adderall does. As a result, there is minimal motivation to abuse Modafinil.


Modafinil and Adderall’s legal s
tatus

Adderall and Modafinil do not have the same legal status due to their varied effects. They are both controlled drugs that should only be obtained with a prescription, but they are treated differently. Modafinil is classified as a Schedule IV controlled substance, while Adderall is classified as a Schedule II controlled substance.

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This indicates that Adderall is a dangerous substance with a significant potential for abuse from a legal standpoint. It is classified as a controlled substance, and possessing it without a prescription may result in various legal consequences. Schedule IV medicines, such as Modafinil, are rated significantly less harmful. They are characterized as drugs with a low risk for physical or psychological addiction. Modafinil is widely available online.

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In case of overdose

In case of an intentional or accidental overdose of both medications, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. You can also find information on https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the person collapses or is experiencing seizures, or trouble breathing, contact emergency services at 911.


Frequently asked q
uestions about Modafinil and Adderall

 

1.Can I use Modafinil or Adderall while pregnant?

Modafinil and Adderall are pregnancy category C medications, which means there are no adequate, controlled studies to prove their safety. These medications should be used during pregnancy only when the benefit outweighs the danger.

2.
Can I take Modafinil or Adderall with alcohol?

Patients on Modafinil or Adderall should minimize their alcohol consumption. Alcohol can raise Adderall serum blood concentrations; hence excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided.

3.Does Modafinil help you focus?

Modafinil aids in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, resulting in a more alert and productive wake cycle and better sleep. It is used in the treatment of ADHD off-label.

4.Can you take Modafinil every day?

Modafinil is a restricted drug that can become addictive. Patients who must be on it for an extended period should be thoroughly watched for signs of dependence or abuse.

5.Is Adderall bad for you long-term?

Adderall can lead to dependence, tolerance, and increased adverse effects when used for a long time. It also can raise your blood pressure, which can lead to heart problems and even stroke. Before taking Adderall and throughout therapy, you should have routine checks by your physician.

6.Are there online providers that will prescribe ADHD medication?

Yes, several online mental health providers will conduct virtual telehealth visits and prescribe medication if your symptoms merit it.

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Specifics About Modafinil

You may hear your healthcare provider refer to Modafinil by its brand name Provigil. Modafinil is most commonly used to treat sleeplessness. It helps people stay awake and makes it more difficult to fall asleep at unexpected times. Modafinil, like Adderall, is used to treat narcolepsy. It also aids sleep apnea and shift work sleep disorder. Modafinil does not immediately treat apnea in sleep apnea patients. Instead, it aids in treating some patients’ excessive daytime sleepiness.

Because of its effectiveness, Modafinil has earned a reputation as a smart drug all around the world. Modafinil is the #1 most popular smart drug for high-performance individuals looking for a dependable cognitive edge in competitive circumstances where a mental advantage might be the difference between win and defeat. This is one reason why certain sports have banned the use of the drug.

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Modafinil should be on everyone’s radar as a smart drug that produces unlimited energy, laser focus, and long-lasting drive. Modafinil is one of the few nootropics on the market that can supercharge the brain and keep you alert at the same time.

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Dosing for Modafinil

Modafinil is available in 100mg and 200mg tablets. Modafinil is primarily used to treat fatigue caused by sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, or narcolepsy (falling asleep during the day). Because of its stimulant properties, it is also an excellent treatment for ADHD.

Modafinil is best known for its “eugeroic” effects, as it promotes wakefulness.

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Cost of Modafinil

The cost of generic modafinil ranges from $65 for a month’s supply to a price of over $295.

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Is Modafinil legal to use in your country?

Modafinil is a well-known and well-studied drug that has been approved for medical usage in the US and Europe for more than 20 years.

It is legal in almost every country with a valid prescription from a medical provider. In the US, Modafinil, also known as Provigil, may only be legally obtained with a prescription and purchased from a pharmacy in the US. According to Modafinil experts, the drug can be bought online, and many orders are shipped daily to the US for personal use.

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While the law of your country may prevent you from ordering overseas, there are almost no threats to obtaining Modafinil online in modest doses. According to the one authority on modafinil, there’s a 99 percent chance your item will arrive within two weeks of the date you placed it.

It’s possible that customs will seize your order on a rare occasion. If your order is confiscated and you purchased it from a reputable internet retailer, they will either ship you another order or give you a complete refund.

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Modafinil is available over the counter without a prescription if you travel to Mexico. Before bringing the medicine back to your native country, make sure you understand the rules.

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Side Effects of Modafinil

 Headache
 Nausea
 Nervousness
 Dizziness
 Difficulty sleeping
 Dry mouth
 Heartburn
 Muscle stiffness
 Stomach pain

 Diarrhea

 

Modafinil’s severe uncommon side effects include:

 Irregular heartbeat
 Changes in mood
 Confusion
 Depression
 Hallucinations
 Thoughts of suicide


Stop the medication and contact your physician immediately if you experience severe side effects
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Modafinil can become addictive and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor. This medication can also have
adverse effects on people with heart or blood pressure problems. Therefore, it should be used with caution. Modafinil should not be taken while pregnant because it can harm an unborn baby, and it should not be combined with hormonal birth control since it can make it less effective.

 

How to sleep better while taking Modafinil

Modafinil’s effects last roughly 12 hours. To avoid sleeplessness, take the pill first thing in the morning or at least 12 hours before you plan to sleep. Here are a few other things you can try if you still have difficulty sleeping or experience insomnia:


Follow a bedtime routine
 Avoid other stimulants such as caffeine or energy drinks
 Lastly, contact your provider to lower your dose if needed

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Modafinil and weight loss

Pharmacology and Biochemistry and Behavior study, participants’ total calorie intake was reduced by 18% to 38%, depending on the amount taken with Modafinil. The drug has been shown to minimize impulsive eating, leading to weight gain. More research is needed to see if this medicine can help people lose weight.

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Modafinil and drug tests

The drug test must be specifically looking for Modafinil. An employer’s routine drug tests are not designed to look for this drug and, therefore, will not pick it up on a standard drug test. According to a research study on detecting Modafinil in urine, two separate studies showed that the drug was not detectable after 80 hours of taking a 100mg dose.

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Modafinil use in competitive sports

Many athletic organizations worldwide regard Modafinil as a performance-enhancing substance and may conduct a drug test before a big sporting event. Some of the sporting organizations that ban the use of Modafinil include:

Oddly enough, some countries where Chess is considered a competitive sport have also prohibited Modafinil use among participants.

Modafinil is considered a performance-enhancing substance by the athletic organizations that have prohibited its usage. Modafinil benefits athletes with the following:

 Increased focus and alertness
 Higher energy levels
 Lower fatigue
 Improved endurance

Because Modafinil assists athletes in performing at their best by putting them in a state of high focus, it is seen as an unfair advantage by other players.

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Modafinil and addiction

Modafinil, unlike Adderall and other stimulant medicines, is not as addictive. The majority of people who legally take Modafinil do not experience the same euphoria or high that Adderall does. As a result, it is not in high demand on the streets. A person who has already been addicted to other substances, on the other hand, could develop an addiction to Modafinil just like any other drug.

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Modafinil use in military

Modafinil has improved performance in sleep-deprived troops, pilots, and tired astronauts. Modafinil replaced dexamphetamine (an Adderall component) as the military’s “go-pill” in 2012. According to research, it improves judgment, cognitive function, and feelings of well-being, as well as boosts danger perception and situation awareness.

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Dietary precautions with Modafinil use

It is recommended to avoid or limit the intake of grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking Modafinil as it may increase the level of Modafinil in the bloodstream. A diet consisting of more fresh, unprocessed meals and fewer sugary snacks has been shown to aid those with ADHD.

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For the treatment of ADHD and sleep difficulties, Modafinil appears to be a great alternative to Adderall. However, even though other countries have accepted the medication more regularly and with positive effects, it is still rarely utilized in the United States. When you see your doctor for aid in the United States, you may need to have exact reasons for getting the prescription.

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Specifics about Adderall

Adderall is a stimulant that makes people feel more awake and focused. Adderall can cause euphoria and hallucinations in high doses. The medication is commonly used for ADHD. Adderall is an ADHD medication that helps people with hyperactivity, inattention, and impulsiveness. Patients who take it as prescribed report handling multistep jobs, organizing their lives, and processing information more effectively. Adderall is also used to treat narcolepsy in addition to ADHD. Those who have trouble falling asleep during the day may benefit from the drug’s tendency to improve wakefulness.

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Dosing for Adderall

Adderall tablets range in strength from 5mg to 30mg and are available in immediate-release and extended-release formulations. The most frequently prescribed form is the extended release.

Like Modafinil, Adderall has indications for use. Adderall is commonly taken for ADHD and Narcolepsy, but it also has other applications and can benefit from depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.

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Cost

Adderall can be affordable with or without insurance because it is one of the most prescribed drugs for ADHD and narcolepsy. Without insurance, brand-name Adderall can cost around $8 per 5 mg tablet, with a 30-day supply costing $237.

The generic form of Adderall can be considerably less expensive, with a 30-day supply of 5 mg tablets costing around $13, even more with a discount coupon. Because extended-release drugs are more costly than immediate-release pharmaceuticals, a maximum dose of the extended-release pills can cost up to $85 for 30 days.

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Is Adderall legal to use in all countries?

In most countries, Adderall is only available with a doctor’s prescription. However, a few foreign countries prohibit the use of amphetamines and methamphetamines. This substance is not permitted in Japan and Saudi Arabia, among other countries. If you intend to travel to another nation, check into the legality of bringing Adderall with you.

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Side effects of Adderall

The most common side effects of Adderall include:

 Loss of appetite
 Weight loss
 Dry mouth
 Stomach pain
 Nausea
 Vomiting
 Dizziness
 Headache
 Diarrhea
 Fever
 Nervousness
 Trouble sleeping

Other rare side effects are considered severe


If you experience these side effects, stop
taking the medication and immediately contact your healthcare provider.

 Shortness of breath
 Chest/jaw/left arm pain
 Fainting
 Severe headache
 Irregular heartbeat
 Swelling of the ankles or feet
 Extreme fatigue
 Blurred vision
 Trouble speaking
 Confusion

How to sleep better when taking Adderall

As with any other stimulant, take Adderall when you wake up to ensure it wears off when you are ready to sleep. Things to consider to assist with a restful night:

 Avoid alcohol
 Avoid products with caffeine
 Limit or avoid sugary products
 Follow a sleep routine
 Meditate before bed
 Take a warm shower or bath
 Start new bedtime rituals that help you relax
 Natural supplements can help, such as melatonin

If changes in sleep habits and other tactics do not help, contact your provider for assistance or medication adjustments.

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Adderall and weight loss

Adderall’s side effects include decreased appetite and weight loss. Although some people think it’s one of Adderall’s beneficial side effects. A few doctors will prescribe it for weight loss even though the FDA does not approve it. Because of the other adverse effects of Adderall, using it off-label can be dangerous.

Adderall and drug tests

Adderall can be detectable in your urine for up to 72 hours after the last dose.

Adderall will show up in an employer or other drug test if they are checking for amphetamine usage. Due to the amphetamine compound, Adderall will also test positive in saliva, hair, and blood tests. Therefore, it is essential to have a valid prescription in your name.

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Misuse of Adderall

Adderall, like many other amphetamines, has the potential to be abused. People who don’t have a prescription for Adderall may use it to improve their focus or remain awake for more extended periods. According to a study in Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 17% of college students reported using stimulants, including Adderall, without a valid prescription. The students said the primary purpose was to improve alertness and increase their ability to stay awake for more extended periods.

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Adderall and addiction

Adderall is considered a highly addictive drug if taken outside of the prescribed dose range.” When taken for an extended period, users may notice that the effects diminish and their symptoms are not as well controlled. This may result in greater doses over time, increasing the risk of addiction. The following groups are the most vulnerable to addiction:

 College students
 Athletes
 People with high-stress careers
 People with a history of drug abuse

Adderall also interacts negatively with certain medications.

If you take any of the following medications, you may be more likely to develop an Adderall addiction:

 Antidepressants
 Pain medications
 Antacids
 Blood thinners
 Blood pressure medications
 Lithium
 Decongestants

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Dietary precautions and Adderall

Unless your doctor instructs you otherwise, you won’t need to make any dietary modifications. However, studies show a healthy diet low in processed meals, sugary foods, and foods containing dye can improve treatment effectiveness.

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In the United States, Adderall is often given to treat ADHD. However, it is not without significant side effects and addiction risks. If your doctor has prescribed Adderall to treat your problems, use it with caution.

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Bottom line

If you want to use Adderall or Modafinil, there are a few things to consider. First and foremost, think about your current health situation.

If you have ADHD, Adderall may be more effective than Modafinil. However, Modafinil is a much milder stimulant with less potential to produce anxiety and irritability side effects. If you have a sleeping problem, though, either medicine may help. In many cases, your body may tolerate Modafinil better, as many people claim that after taking Modafinil, they have fewer side effects. Modafinil is often seen as being safer to use if you have a history of substance abuse.

Leave the ultimate decision on which medication is best for you to your doctor. Only he/she can accurately assess your situation and aid you in finding the ideal drug for your needs. If you have a preference, do your homework and discuss why you request a particular medication.

When it comes to ADHD medications, there is no foolproof method for knowing what will work. What works for one individual may not work for someone else. The effectiveness of a drug, as well as its ease of use and tolerability of side effects, will determine if it is right for you.

To find the appropriate drug, you may need to test several different doses. This may take several months to find the correct dose that works for you.

If you’ve tried one of these drugs before and found that it doesn’t work for you, talk to your doctor about switching to another alternative.


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